Church Minshull to Middlewich

Today video journey is here:

Today was another day of all the clothes. Leggings under Jeans, about 4 tops under a jumper and coat etc. The sun was lovely but the wind was bitter and being on the water makes it even colder. Started the day with a gentle navigation, no locks, just other boats and narrow bridge holes to steer through. Saw a lovely cottage with fab shutters:

Noticed the sun had come around and casted a cool shadow of me and the boat. I don’t have the best skill at taking pictures whilst steering and this attempt nearly had me missing the turn but I recovered!

The wind was definitely a challenge today, the gusts were hard to keep steering against as it just pushes the boat wherever it wants to. Took a little solace in a slightly longer bridge momentarily but then got thoroughly distracted by an oddly placed rug, chalk mandala and tiny chair. I’ll never know why that was there but it made me smile:

I wanted to run the locks today as the exercise would warm me up, we only had three to do but these ones are super deep, averaging at 11 feet deep. On the first one I had to scoot past a dog walker who had 2 very unique looking dogs. They were West Highland White Terrier crossed with Jack Russell. One was grey with white spectacles, one 18, the other 14, I enjoyed the dog cuddles before cracking on to the lock.

The second lock marks the end of the Middlewich branch of the Shropshire Union Canal and for a blink and you miss it moment, the Wardle Canal. This is the UK’s shortest canal at a mere 571 feet long. It links the Shropshire Union and the Trent & Mersey canal. Back in the old trading days, control of the waterways was a business and a powerful one, control the route, control the money being made off the trade on it. The Wardle canal was owned by the older Trent & Mersey canal company, this ensured that they controlled the junction with the newer Middlewich Branch canal. On the bridge over the junction, you can still see the old naming stone stating Wardle Canal 1829 (some 40 years after the Trent & Mersey canal opened).

After a very sharp right hand turn, straight onto a lock, we are now on the Trent & Mersey (waterway number 8 of the trip!). The mooring was just after and right opposite a chippy that was recommended to us by a couple earlier on the trip. We’ve only done 1 takeaway on the whole trip so far so I was very much looking forward to a chippy tea tonight!

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